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Land Rover and ClimateCare have announced a partnership to help bring clean solar technology to off-grid communities in Kenya. This innovative social impact programme, called ’Lighting up Lives’, will make affordable lighting available to people across Kenya, including 14-year old Franklin Kishsta, a pupil at Kasooni School, Kalawa, Kenya. Franklin is just one of more than one million people living in isolated or off-grid communities who will benefit from the programme.
“I finish all of my homework now,” said Franklin, who dreams of becoming an engineer one day. “Before I could not do it at home when it was dark. I know my parents are much happier now, and so am I.”
‘Lighting Up Lives’ was announced at this year’s Hay Festival, where Land Rover hosted the Storytelling Nook – a unique storytelling venue where the company and ClimateCare ran sessions for children to learn about ‘Lighting Up Lives’. This included video, sound and storytelling from Kenya to show the transformative impact of solar power in rural communities.
One of the guest storytellers included celebrated British polar explorer Ben Saunders, who spoke about the importance of solar power in his 2013-14 Antarctic expedition. As a visual celebration of the sun, Land Rover commissioned the unique ‘Night time Sun’ art installation, which illustrated the power of the sun to transform lives.
Using kerosene light creates hazardous indoor pollutants, one of the biggest causes of premature death in Africa. Land Rover believes that renewable solar technology offers an affordable alternative. Education improves as children like Franklin can study, read and stay up to play after dark. Women enjoy greater opportunities to work and learn. Living conditions in homes are healthier and safer, and incomes improve.
“This exciting new venture is exactly the type of programme that Land Rover wants to lead on in the future,” said Helen McLintock, Director, Land Rover. “Using technology for good and supporting the power of engineering to improve lives and help to build a cleaner future. Our purpose is to make responsible business relevant to everyone. By sharing our skills, our technology, our people and our passions we can make a difference to people's lives and prosperity."
By partnering with global sustainability experts, ClimateCare, Land Rover will create opportunities for millions of Kenyans. The ‘Lighting Up Lives’ programme will offer affordable finance for these high-tech LED lanterns, making it a real and affordable proposition for lives to be improved through cleaner, safer air, and more productive livelihoods for women and children.
“We are focused on helping corporates take responsibility for solving key global challenges - through the delivery of integrated sustainability programmes with robust and measurable outcomes that benefit the world’s poorest communities, and deliver against the UN’s Global Goals,” said Edward Hanrahan, ClimateCare CEO. “We believe businesses have a vital role to play in supporting the Global Goals and Land Rover is an excellent example of the contribution corporates can make.”
Lighting up Lives is particularly relevant to Land Rover’s own operations and commitment to a zero emissions future. It recently announced a move to 100% renewable electricity for its UK facilities and has installed the UK’s largest rooftop solar array at its Engine Manufacturing Centre in the West Midlands. It fits with an ambition to drive sustainable, innovative growth not just for the business but for communities around the world including Kalawa, Kenya.
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